Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement
Do you suffer from pain in and around your shoulder?

One of the most common reasons that we see clients for shoulder pain and restriction is a syndrome known as shoulder impingement.

Symptoms of shoulder impingement include:

  • Pain at the front and/or outside of the shoulder
  • Clicking in the shoulder when raising the arm
  • Pain when reaching behind the back (i.e. putting on seat belt or reaching into back pocket)
  • Reduced range of movement of the shoulder (particularly with overhead movements)
  • Weakness around the shoulder joint.

The shoulder is made up of 4 joints:

1. The glenohumeral joint: A ball and socket type joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) meets the glenoid cavity (socket shape) of the scapula (shoulder blade)
2. The acromioclavicular (AC) joint: Where the clavicle (collar bone) meets the acromion of the scapula
3. The sternoclavicular (SC) joint: Where the clavicle meets the sternum (chest bone)
4. The scapulothoracic joint: Where the scapula meets the ribs at the back of the chest.

There are many muscles which surround the shoulder and they function to give stability and mobility to the joint. An important group of muscles known as the ‘rotator cuff’ consists of:

  1. Supraspinatus
  2. Infraspinatus
  3. Teres minor
  4. Subscapularis

The tendons of the rotator cuff (particularly the supraspinatus tendon) pass through the narrow bony space beneath the acromion in the subacromial space and can sometimes be pinched in this area. This pinching can cause swelling, pain and clicking in the joint.  If the pinching continues (such as with repetitive throwing or overhead movements) it can eventually lead to a tear in the tendon.  This is known as a rotator cuff tear.

People at risk of shoulder impingement include young athletes participating in activities requiring repetitive shoulder movements e.g. swimmers, baseball pitchers, tennis players. Also, older people who have developed bony spurs or altered postures causing reduced space for the rotator cuff tendons to pass through the subacromial space. It is important to note that often older people will have rotator cuff tear present and have no symptoms at all.

Treatment of shoulder impingement can include:

  • Rest from the aggravating activity
  • Stretching of tight muscles
  • Strengthening of the rotator cuff and surrounding shoulder muscles
  • Biomechanical changes to aggravating activity (i.e. tennis serve)
  • Ice to inflamed areas
  • Taping to assist with muscle and postural control.

If you are suffering from pain in the shoulder be sure to book in and see one of our friendly physio’s. The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body and as a result it can be difficult to assess and treat. Getting advice from a physio is one of the most important steps you can take on the path to recovery!

For more information or to book a consultation, please visit our website call our rooms on 9822 4999 (Armadale) or 9486 0512 (East Melbourne).



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Our Values

Our values are the basis of everything we do at Fitwise.

Excellence, Respect, Innovation and Fun – For our clients, for our team and for ourselves.

This is evident with the service we provide, the environment in which we provide it, the way in which we operate as a team and how we care for and value our clients, referral partners and ourselves; we live the Fitwise values every day.

Our culture is one where everyone feels supported, respected and safe. Our clients and our team, experience a leading-edge health environment where we remember to have fun along the way.

Our Story

In 2004, Gen McGlashan and Libby Oldfield founded Fitwise Physiotherapy. They first met in 1994.  Libby was Gen’s physio when she had her first child. Gen then worked for Libby for 10 years in Libby’s previous business, located at the Epworth Freemasons Maternity Unit in East Melbourne. They have been a team working together for a very long time!!

Libby and Gen have always had a passion for empowering women, by helping provide accurate evidence based information and treatment to help women live their best lives. Excellence in all that they do, practising and operating in an innovative way has always been their core. Fitwise was the first multi-practitioner practice providing Women’s Health physiotherapy consultations, exercise classes and clinical pilates in Melbourne.

Gen and Libby

In February 2005 Gen and Libby moved their one room practice to Albert St East Melbourne. They had expanded to 2 treatment rooms, an exercise studio and a pilates studio with a small team of physiotherapists and one receptionist. This was exciting as they wanted to be able to help more people and to grow their team – enabling their other passion: teaching and mentoring clinicians who also wanted to work within the Women’s, Men’s and Pelvic Health arena.

5 years later, they expanded their East Melbourne clinic and in 2015 opened their second clinic in Armadale.

Remedial Massage, Myotherapy and Dietetics have been an exciting addition in recent years, with Podiatry and Exercise Physiology being added in 2022.

Fitwise Physiotherapy | Armadale

The Fitwise team has now grown to include 18 amazing practitioners and 12 wonderful administrative team members and is still growing!

Libby and Gen have always loved providing a holistic service, treating a variety of conditions in consultations and providing exercise appropriate for different life stages. The community of clients that are part of the Fitwise family, (some who have been part of the journey from the very beginning – over 17 years ago), are the biggest reason they do what they do. For Gen and Libby, it is a privilege to be part of these wonderful people’s lives.